If you have been injured on the job in New Jersey, you may be wondering about your options moving forward. In the vast majority of cases, you cannot sue your employer for negligence in New Jersey. However, if you are injured at work, you are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Pursuing Compensation for Injuries
Employees have a right to safe working conditions. Sometimes, however, accidents occur. A worker might be injured due to the worker’s mistake, someone else’s mistake, equipment malfunctions, poor weather conditions, or a whole host of other unfortunate circumstances. In these types of cases, the worker is not usually permitted to sue for damages in court. There have been rare exceptions, such as when a company has in the past knowingly failed to correct regulatory violations that led to an injury. Therefore, it is always important to consult an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case. Usually, however, injured workers will receive compensation through another channel: Workers’ compensation.
Employers Must Compensate Workers for On-the-Job Injuries
Workers’ compensation is based on the concept that employers are responsible for the safety of their employees while performing the duties of the job. The law mandates that the employer compensate their employees in the event of an injury, or compensate those employees’ families in case of death. In return, employees forfeit their right to sue for negligence.
At first glance, this may make it seem like workers are being deprived of their rights. In many ways, however, the fact that compensation must be paid out through workers’ compensation rather than through a lawsuit can work to your advantage.
To win a personal injury lawsuit, you must have very strong, convincing evidence of the other party’s negligence. However, to demonstrate your claim for workers’ compensation, there is a lower standard. You need only to show that you were injured while performing your work duties (unless you yourself were willfully negligent). This is true even if you made a mistake that led to your injury. An example would be if a worker was required to drive to a construction site for work and was injured while in route. This would be a workers’ compensation case even though your employer was not directly responsible.
What to Do If You Were Injured While Working
If you were injured at your job, your first priority is to focus on recovering from your injury. However, you must make sure to notify your employer of the injury immediately so that the process of getting workers’ compensation is initiated. Also, make sure to inform your employer of any medical care or treatment you require.
As soon as you feel able, you should seek legal advice to find out how you can be compensated for the harm you have suffered. Do not worry about losing your job: Employers cannot fire you because you filed for workers’ compensation. To learn more, contact us at Petro Cohen, P.C. for a free consultation call. We have the expertise and experience that make all the difference in workers’ compensation claims.